According to research from Insights West, 64 percent of British Columbia residents own a smartphone. The survey showed smartphones are a daily part of life for many Canadians—in fact, 62 percent of owners report that they checked their device at least once an hour and almost half ran 25 or more applications on their device. With smartphones in so many pockets and involved in so many daily functions, it’s no surprise many business owners are thinking of going all-mobile for business purposes.
Can You Run a Business with a Mobile Device? Before you let your office lease run out, consider whether you can run your business properly via mobile. Small business accounting software applications enable business owners to handle payments and bookkeeping via mobile, while the device comes equipped with most forms of communication needed to connect with clients.
Those basic needs aren’t going to provide optimal operation for every business, though. If you have several employees, the highest level of efficiency may require office oversight. Retail stores that rely on walk-up business won’t work with a single smartphone, though online retailers could handle drop-ship programs via mobile. Whether you’re able to ditch the office depends on the service or product you provide.
Best Businesses for Going All Mobile. Businesses that are prime for converting to an all-mobile process are single-person businesses that operate on a service model. A painter, carpenter, plumber, or electrician could all easily run a business from a mobile device. The individual could take phone calls, handle scheduling, and invoice straight from a phone. Freelancers in accounting, writing, or graphic design can manage many business functions from a mobile phone, although a computer may better facilitate the completion of projects. Other businesses that fit a smartphone model include Realtor, insurance sales or consulting, financial consulting, catering, house cleaning services, or third-party sales.
Disadvantages of Smartphone Management. The advantages of running your business from a smartphone are fairly obvious. You save time and money by not commuting, you avoid the expense of renting and maintaining an office space, and you can work from almost anywhere in the world. There are disadvantages too, however. First, you lose the trust factor that many consumers associate with a physical address. A financial advisor who always meets customers in homes or coffee shops may appear less professional than someone who has a waiting room and receptionist. As more businesses trend toward smartphone management, however, these perceptions are likely to diminish.
Another disadvantage is that smartphone management could put your information or customers at risk. According to Pando Daily, mobile point-of-sale systems have inherent security weaknesses that aren’t found in onsite systems. That doesn’t mean going mobile isn’t possible, but you should use reputable apps and vendors for all processes, just as you would in an office setting.
Going mobile? Just remember that high-touch always outsells high-tech, especially when it comes to that initial meeting. Remember they buy YOU not your product or service. So don’t be afraid to introduce yourself in PERSON.